Galaxy Watch, Huawei Watch, Garmin or Withings: here are the best connected watches to go with your Android smartphone or iPhone.
Smartwatches do a lot of good. Not having to take your smartphone out of your pocket every time you vibrate makes it easier to stay focused on the task at hand. They are also excellent tools for sportsmen and women by offering the possibility to measure many things and follow your activities and the evolution of your performance and more vital constants. Feel like skipping the pas ? Here are our recommendations to find the connected watch that suits you.
THE BEST SMARTWATCH AT A GLANCE
- Samsung Galaxy Watch Active
- Apple Watch 5
- Huawei Watch GT 2nd
- Samsung Galaxy Watch
- Honor Magic Watch
- Withings Steel HR Sport
- Amazfit GTR
SAMSUNG GALAXY WATCH ACTIVE 2: OUR RECOMMENDATION
Very similar to the first Galaxy Watch Active of the name, this second model adds a simulated rotating ring inspired by other Samsung watch models to facilitate navigation. Similar because the latter is no longer physical, but the haptic return makes illusion. It is a plus. For the rest, it is still an Active watch which is thus intended for sportsmen.
Logically, it calculates the number of steps taken or calories burned, and above all, it can automatically recognize up to 6 sports activities among the 40 or so available. Swimming is also at the heart of this list, since this connected watch is IP68 certified, guaranteeing water-resistance to a depth of 50 metres.
Like its predecessor, it is particularly pretty and discreet, but is not stingy in terms of functionality. It integrates classic sensors such as a gyroscope, an accelerometer or a barometer, but also a heart rate meter to measure heart rate (or detect stress) and even an NFC chip to pay with Samsung Pay on terminals accepting contactless.
Its battery gives it an autonomy of about 3 days for the 44 mm model we tested. It is today the most versatile watch on the market while retaining a certain elegance. This is our recommendation. Note that the Samsung Galaxy Watch Active, is still a good option, if you have a little less budget.
WHY CHOOSE THE SAMSUNG GALAXY WATCH ACTIVE 2 ?
- Compact, light and attractive
- Waterproof up to 50 meters
APPLE WATCH SERIES 5: THE OBVIOUS CHOICE IF YOU HAVE AN IPHONE
If you own an iPhone and are looking for a connected watch, there’s no need to procrastinate: buy an Apple Watch. The watch is perfectly integrated into the firm’s ecosystem, for a fusional relationship between the iPhone, and the watch, and also a little bit your Mac.
The latest model to date is the Apple Series 5, released in the fall of 2019. The model goes a little further than Series 4 by adding an Always-On mode to the watch’s OLED display. It’s a little more appreciable, as well as the presence of a new “California” dial or new materials for the case like titanium, but we will agree that these new features are dispensable.
You can easily turn to the fourth series which adopts an identical design, so it remains the prettiest of the connected watches and will cost you a little less. Whether it is Serie 4 or 5, the watch is waterproof, even in seawater. However, it is advisable to rinse it with fresh water afterwards.
WHY GO FOR THE APPLE WATCH ?
- If you have an iPhone
- The most beautiful of the connected watches
- Its many features
HUAWEI WATCH GT 2E: THE LIGHTER VERSION OF AN EXCELLENT WATCH
The Huawei Watch GT 2e is a sporty version of the original model, which has the particularity of being more accessible in terms of price. To do this, the design is slightly modified and some features are limited, notably the Always-On Display, which here only displays a pre-selected dial and which, if activated, reduces the battery by half. This being said, the 1.39-inch OLED display of the watch, displaying a definition of 454 x 454 pixels, is of good quality.
The main design difference with the classic Huawei Watch GT 2 is once again its sporty orientation, which swaps the leather strap for a silicone strap (black, white, green and red) pierced in several places to allow the skin to breathe. The two buttons on the right side are also more discreet than before, probably so as not to disturb the user during exercise.
For the rest, we find all the classic functions of a connected watch, with all the sensors that go with it to follow all your activities, even swimming since it is water resistant to a depth of 50 meters. Its application is very complete, but it requires the installation of Huawei Mobile Services, and therefore App Gallery, to be fully used.
Finally, note that the Huawei Watch GT 2e offers a comfortable autonomy of about a week. Read our complete test to find out more.
WHY CHOOSE THE HUAWEI WATCH GT 2E ?
- Its pierced silicone strap
- The many functions for sport
- Precise GPS tracking during training
SAMSUNG GALAXY WATCH : THE MOST COMPLETE ONE
With this particular model, Samsung has decided to abandon the Gear mention for Galaxy, as on its top-of-the-line smartphones. This is how the Galaxy Watch takes precedence over the Gear S3, present in the past in this ranking. This watch has something to please the adventurers with its rather rough dial and its silicone strap with several lines. It will please all the more since it is waterproof and lasts a week with a single charge – which is much better than the new Active model -, allowing to go in the mountains without worrying about the lack of grip.
The AMOLED screen is really nice to look at and to handle, even if you still prefer to use the rotating ring, which is really more practical, especially on public transport, to switch from one menu to another. What’s more, its sound will remind even the most nostalgic of the iPod’s rotary wheel. The Samsung watch runs under its home interface, Tizen 4.0. It allows you to follow your physical activities on a daily basis and in particular to check your notifications.
For more information, you can read our full test of the Samsung Galaxy Watch.
WHY DO WE RECOMMEND THE SAMSUNG GALAXY WATCH?
- For daredevils
- A ring reminiscent of the iPod (yes, that’s a good point)
- It’ll last a week without a charger.
HONOR MAGIC WATCH: THE ALTERNATIVE TO THE GALAXY WATCH
A variation of the Huawei Watch GT2, the Honor Magic takes up many of the features, but with a few small adjustments, notably to the buttons, while keeping the good ideas, but at a more aggressive price. First of all, we appreciate its excellent battery life, announced for 14 days by constructeur ; in practice, we lasted a little less than 10 days during our test. It’s a good result.
Like all watches from the Huawei Group, the Honor Magic Watch runs under Lite OS, very sporty visually, but complete. The watch is equipped with a GPS and an optical heart rate sensor in addition to a gyroscope and a magnetometer. It is also able to track daily the number of steps and sleep time. These statistics are available in the HealthMate application, but can be synchronized with other sports tracking applications such as Google Fit, MyFitnessPal or Jawbone’s UP.
The Honor Magic Watch is available in two sizes: 42 or 46 mm. We have tested the second one, which offers a superior autonomy. This is due to the higher capacity of the battery. You can find all the details in our test of the Honor Magic Watch.
WHY CHOOSE THE HONORARY MAGIC WATCH ?
- Excellent autonomy
- Very successful finishes
- Numerous measured data
WITHINGS STEEL HR SPORT: THE ELEGANT
The Withings Steel HR Sport has a definite advantage over its competitors: it has THE design most reminiscent of a real eye-catcher. With its chrome-plated hands and silicone/leather strap, it goes through the post office like a letter! If you prefer style to functionality, it’s the perfect contender for your wrist. The small screen nested in the dial still displays notifications (which can be set) and information about your physical activity (running, dancing, swimming). Note that in black, the screen blends perfectly with the background (it’s more discreet).
The watch also allows you to analyse your sleep cycles and offers a convincing silent vibration alarm clock. Its data can synchronise with smartphones thanks to the Health Mate application, which is iOS and Android compatible, allowing it to provide tailored advice based on statistics.
We are talking about the Steel Sport HR, to be differentiated from the “normal” Steel HR model. In addition to having touches of red here and there and a breathable wristband, the Sport version is distinguished by the support of the GPS during the race, and also estimates the user’s VO2 Max.
Note that if you only need to make notifications, you can opt for the Withings Move ECG. Unlike Steel HR, it does not have a screen. No notifications, but you keep the heart sensor. Its style is also less sports-oriented, which makes it more all-purpose. It also has the merit of being less expensive.
WHY CONSIDER WITHINGS STEEL SPORT HR ?
- It can be worn in all situations
- Notifications are customizable
- Greater than average autonomy (about 20 days)
(XIAOMI) HUAMI AMAZFIT GTR: GOOD VALUE FOR MONEY
Little known in France, Huami is actually the “connected objects” branch of Xiaomi in China. With its Amazfit GTR, the company has succeeded in maintaining the tradition of Xiaomi’s price/performance ratio. It is a complete watch at a relatively modest price. It is therefore an excellent choice if you want to invest in a smartwatch without breaking your piggy bank too much.
It is built around a 1.39 OLED display with a resolution of 326 pixels per inch, so the texts are displayed with great finesse. The panel is protected by Gorilla Glass to prevent scratches. It is capable of following many activities, starting with running of course, but also swimming, as it is waterproof up to 5 ATM.
You will be able to follow your heart rate before, during and after your workouts directly on the watch or the application, which is also complete. Sleep monitoring is also included and you will be able to analyze it over several consecutive days since it held a full work week during our test. On the other hand, it must be admitted that it is imposing on the wrist.
WHY CHOOSE HUAMI AMAZFIT GTR ?
- Its quality/price ratio
- Its sunlight-readable OLED display
- All the features you would expect from a smartwatch.
YOU HAVE NOTHING LESS THAN CHER ?
If you find connected watches too expensive for your taste, you can turn to connected bracelets, which are often cheaper and offer similar features.
WHAT ARE THE TRADEMARKS OF CONFIANCE ?
Today, the market for connected watches is mainly shared by three players: Apple with the Apple Watch, Samsung with the Galaxy Watch and Huawei with the Huawei Watch. We can also mention Withings which has the merit of offering watches with a design closer to mechanical watches. These four brands are a priori trustworthy, but that doesn’t mean that all the other players are to be put aside.
WHAT ARE THE CRITERIA FOR A WATCH CONNECTÉE ?
The choice of a connected watch depends mainly on the desired display. For example, if you prefer a touch screen, a screen with hands, or Amoled, etc., you can choose a watch that is connected to the Internet. You will then have to think about how you will use it, if it is mainly used to receive notifications from your smartphone or if you are looking for features to accompany you during your sports activities.
DO I NEED TO BUY SUPPLÉMENTAIRES BRACELETS?
The watch strap is also important, you have to think about the material as well as its size. Some models use standard sizes while others have more exotic sizes. All watches come with a default strap.
It may be worth investing in a bracelet made of a material that suits your purpose. Rubber is preferred for sportsmen, leather (real or not) for those who prefer elegance. As with a classic watch, leather will wear out over time.